i hear blackFor this week’s album of the week, I wanted to pick something cool considering it is Christmas week, but then I wanted to choose something from a band I had never reviewed before. After looking through the internet, I came across New York Thrash legends Overkill and decided that this was the band I wanted to cover for the album of the week. The next question was which album was I going to cover? After sifting through all of the albums the band had made, I decided on the 1993 record I Hear Black that was released via Atlantic Records. The lineup for the record consisted of Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (Vocals), D.D. Verni (Bass), Merritt Gant (Guitars), Rob Cannavino (Guitars), and Tim Mallare (Drums). The album was a shift for the band who transitioned from Thrash Metal to Groove Metal for this album as it remains one of the band’s highest charted records. It’s the second highest charted Overkill album ever as it peaked at 122 on the Billboard Top 200 and its the band’s highest ever charted record on the Billboard Heatseekers chart at number 3.

Overkill-I_Hear_Black-Interior_Frontal1. Dreaming in Columbian– The song starts with a killer drum beat before the band kicks in at a 1000 MPH. You can definitely hear the band take some cues from Pantera on this song. 4/5

2. I Hear Black– a cool dark groove metal track about the son of Sam killer and how he claimed that it wasn’t completely him that did the crimes. 4/5

3. World Of Hurt– a track that starts like there is something wrong with your speaker, but when it kicks in it gets in your face. 4/5

4. Feed My Head– A very Anthrax Caught In A Mosh like beginning, but then the track begins to pummel with some smashing riffs and grooves. 4/5

5. Shades of Grey– The track is very melodic in nature with a clean guitar riff and a groovin bass riff. A very cool and different track from the band  4/5

6. Spiritual Void– The guitar riff which is kind of bluesy begins to build and build with momentum to a southern stoner doom track very reminiscent of what Down will do later on. 5/5

images (2)7. Ghost Dance– a cool short intro track on the record. 4/5

8. Weight Of The World– It starts off like a bat out of hell with it’s all out metal assault that combines the elements of thrash the band was known for with the groove. 5/5

9. Ignorance & Innocence– A track that starts off with a cool groove in a track that is all about how ignorance can be bliss. This is a bad ass rock song in my opinion. 4/5

10. Undying– Starts off very melodic with the eerie guitar riff and the tempo is slow at first before the band kicks up a notch.At one point, it has a very King Diamond like feel to it with some of the backing vocalswhich are very high. 4/5

11. Just Like You– The last track on the record and the band ends the album in style with the metal madness in a track about that person that everyone knows that thinks he’s better than you. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This is not my top Overkill record, but it’s definitely one of my top five. It was a ballsy move for Overkill to move to a more groove metal style, but then again almost everyone did it. It was survive or perish in the 90’s for most Thrash Metal bands as the sound certainly changed. I am going to give the album four stars out of five for a final grade.


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